The Moonlander Gemini browser showing the Techrights Gemini site.
|Original author(s)||Ecmel Berk Canlıer|
Moonlander is a plain and simple Gemini capsule browser written in Rust using the GTK toolkit. It has no functionality beyond the ability to display and bookmark
gemini:// sites. Many of the keyboard shortcuts you would expect a browser to have are missing. It will let you view Gemini sites and that's about it.
We tested Moonlander 0.1.0/git in April 2021. It was still "Alpha" software at that time, it could have improved by the time you read this. The date and the time you read this may vary.
Features And Usability
Moonlander is a special-purpose browser that lets you browse the special text-only Gemini sites that are available on the Internet using the
Moonlander has tabs so you can have multiple Gemini capsules open at the same time. There is also a bookmark function available using mouse only. That's it in terms of functionality, you can bookmark sites, re-visit bookmarks and manually type in
gemini:// links in the address bar and that's it.
Most of the keyboard shortcuts you would expect a browser to have are not implemented. There is no ctrl+d shortcut to bookmark or ctrl+b to open a bookmark manager. There are some keybord shortcuts available, though there aren't many.
|ctrl+l||Takes you to the location bar (same as other browsers|
|F5||Refreshes a page. ctrl+r doesn't work, there's only F5.|
|ctrl+t||Opens a new tab|
|ctrl+w||Doesn't close a tab, but it will at a later date ("CTRL+W will require a bit more work, so I'll add it later on.")|
|ctrl++||Doesn't increase the font size, but it will at a later date. ("I intend to get on this at some point")|
|ctrl+-||Doesn't increase the font size, but it will at a later date. ("I intend to get on this at some point")|
There's no other keyboard shortcuts.
The only menu item Moonlander has to offer is
Verdict And Conclusion
Moonlander lets you view Gemini sites and that it's it, everything else modern browsers have is missing. Moonlander is a Gemini browser, not a web browser for HTML websites, so it is understandable that it is simpler than big web browser such as Mozilla Firefox and Chromium. Still, it's kind of basic. You may like it if you want a really basic bare-bones Gemini browser.
Moonlander is written in Rust so you need to use
cargo to build it.
git clone https://git.sr.ht/~admicos/moonlander cd moonlander cargo build --release cd target/release strip -s moonlander # optional, cut the file size in half
Stripping the file reduces its size from 8 MiB to 3.7 MiB. It's not huge to begin with, so it doesn't make much of a difference.
There is no
make install since it uses
cargo. You can install it with
cp target/release/moonlander $HOME/bin (assuming you have a
$HOME/bin). You don't need any more than the
moonlander binary. You may also want to copy
$HOME/.local/share/icons/hicolor/scalable (you may have to make that folder) so it shows up in desktop environment menus.
Tips And Tricks
Moonlander does not have any configuration options, there's none. However, there is a configuration file written to
$HOME/.config/moonlander/moonlander.toml the first time you launch it. That file contains things like font sizes used for regular and pre-formatted text, among other things. It is possible to edit that file in order to change font sizes, colors and a few other things.
The homepage, or at least a description of it by the developer, can be found at https://sr.ht/~admicos/moonlander/.